The Development of Karl Marx's Critique

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1. Marx’s work, for the unfamiliar, has been usually reduced to The Communist Manifesto and/or to some abridged versions of Capital. This, of course, makes impossible a serious analysis of his work. A great deal of Marx’s contribution is not only outside his most popular books, but in the evolution of his though, in his intellectual path, in the dialog between his ideas. In paying attention to that, we are giving Marx his real importance. In this sense, it is crucial to describe and understand the context and the process which led to the development of Marx’s ideas, both in his earlier texts and in the later ones. In discussing and comparing the critique of philosophy given in texts like ‘Towards a Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of…show more content…
For Althusser, at this point “a new theoretical consciousness is already beginning to show through (…)” ; which, as we said before, can be seen in Capital and the other economic texts. 2.2. Epistemological break and the Critique of political economy This new consciousness was the beginning of the Epistemological Break in Marx. This concept (taken from Bachelard), is defined as the detachment from a pre-scientific view of the phenomena of study and the leap into a more complex and scientific view. Althusser applied this concept to divide Marx’s work basically in two parts: his ideological period and his scientific period, as he called them. That transition in Marx’s thought is the main reason for the differences that exist between the critique of philosophy (ideological period) and the critique of political economy (scientific period). And even if one does not agree with the dates in which Althusser situates this break, or even with how he defined it, is a useful notion to compare the early and later ideas in Marx. According to Balibar, many are the reasons for this rupture. Among them are the social ones, like the direct encounter of Marx with the French and German proletariat and his involvement in the social struggles of the time; and the
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